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College awarded nearly $2 million in funding for industry and university partnerships

May 2, 2017

Red River College has received nearly $2 million in federal funding for applied research in aerospace, manufacturing and sustainable building technology, including a milestone for RRC in the form of its first College-University partnership grant.

“This is great news not only for the College but for aerospace, manufacturing and sustainable building technology,” says RRC President Paul Vogt. “We are placing a strong emphasis on collaboration, bridging a critical gap between colleges, industry and universities by working directly with the University of Manitoba.”

Federal Minister of Science Kirsty Duncan announced the grants during an industry breakfast at the Colleges and Institutes Canada Conference in Ottawa.

“I’m so pleased that the government of Canada was involved in such a valuable funding opportunity,” says Duncan. “Uniting Red River College with these sustainable industries will allow for brilliant minds to work towards a bright future for Canada; complete with a vibrant middle class, quality jobs and an innovative economy.”

Both grants were awarded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). The first, worth $113,000, is for a partnership with the University of Manitoba to develop a cost-effective thermally broken concrete balcony. This marks the first time RRC has received one of NSERC’s College-University Idea to Innovation Grants, signalling an ongoing commitment to collaborate with other post-secondary institutions.

The College’s Building Envelope Technology Access Centre (BETAC) will collaborate with the UofM and local engineering firm Crosier Kilgour & Partners on a joint project aimed at reducing heat loss in high rise buildings via an affordable, effectively designed thermal break in concrete balconies.

The second grant, worth $1.75 million and delivered through NSERC’s College and Community Innovation Program, went solely to RRC to support ongoing applied research and training partnerships with aerospace and manufacturing organizations.

This grant will allow for the continued operation of RRC’s Technology Access Centre for Aerospace & Manufacturing (TACAM) over the next five years. The funding renewal is a vote of confidence in the TACAM, which has served over 40 organizations with applied research, technical services and training, including the integration of battery packs to New Flyer’s all-electric transit bus.

“These grants are hard-earned validation for the innovative work we are doing in aerospace, robotics, manufacturing and sustainable building technology,” says Ray Hoemsen, Executive Director of Research Partnerships & Innovation at RRC. “We are fostering collaboration with industry and post-secondary institutions, creating a positive climate for the region’s innovation clusters in the process.”